bourbonneat: (Bourbon Neat)
Work is, in fact, a four letter word.
I am about to travel 450+ miles round trip in one day (again), through not-quite Steinbeck country, to spend four hours trying to solve computer program woes for the enthusiastic but clueless. On the one hand, if we can eliminate the user errors, this is actually a really cool project that I am mostly enjoying and the program will help some potential students with special needs. On the other hand, the more complications that arise from the cluelessness, the more I find myself muttering “Next time, Jack, write a goddamned memo!’ under my breath because, yeah, I’m travelling at my own suggestion.

Oh…and I am not an IT professional. I’m just a corporate writer with an ever expanding millinery collection and a knack for landing odd but interesting projects. At least they’re enthusiastic. It’s often easier to train people with less experience/natural ability but a good attitude than the other way around. More fun too.

Musketeers, Now That’s the Way to Make an Entrance
I am only two episodes in, but I am giddy definitions of smitten – very well done from the characters, to the dialogue, to the storylines, costumes, actors, everything. The Three Musketeers is one of those stories I loved so much as a kid that I’ve happily followed it through all of its many incarnations, well done and less so. For this reason, I am a bit amused at their idea of a stunning reveal. Are there really people who gasped in shock at the end of episode one? Yeah, probably. *shrugs* Still, so far I love how they’ve blended cannony bits with new adventures so much that I am hardly complaining. The writers got the feel of this right. They pretty much had me at the fork.

Angst-less Writing Stuff
I actually finished one of my WIPs and I posted it – both of which are kind of monumental for me, especially in the sense of occurring together. And, hey, it wasn’t greeted with crickets and no one politely asked me if I wouldn’t prefer to consider their fandom more of a spectator sport – you laugh, but these were actual thoughts in my brain before I hit post that first time. Yikes! But, I did it, truly lovely people gave me even lovelier comments, I pretty much bounced all over the house with silly amounts of happy over this fact, and it was a lot less difficult to hit the post button the next time.

Next time? Ah, yes. There were next times. Two of my initial three WIPs, including the ungodly long WIP of doom, remain WIPs. But, you see, in the middle of all of this, there were these bunnies. Other bunnies. Highly compelling bunnies. And they were so cute and fluffy. Oh, and did I mention that they lied? Yes, they said they were much shorter and faster than they really were, so I wrote them too. *shrugs* I think I'm starting to agree with Anya on the whole bunnies being evil thing. I'm just far less inclined than she to refuse to associate with them on account of it, twitchy little noses being kind of cute and all.

More Procrastination Fodder?
To Tumblr or not to Tumblr. That is my social media conundrum of late. Be practical and stick to the myriad of online distractions I already have at my fingertips, or play with the new shiny toy, too?
bourbonneat: (Bourbon Neat)
Be it ever so smoky and weird-moonscape-looking-hill-surrounded, there is no place like home and, as of yesterday evening, we are back in ours. Yay! Toasting this fact last night with a nice glass of wine, I tried not to make the obvious jokes about smoky notes but eventually gave in because, hey, you’ve got to laugh. And if something actually scares you then you’ve got to laugh even harder.

There are many wonderful things about living in Southern California and, sadly, the wildfire danger is certainly one of the ways we pay for all of our benefits. I live close enough to the mountain that I have been in the fire danger zone many times before, but this is the first time we’ve actually been in one of the evacuated communities.

So, um, yeah. Anyway. That happened and in the end it fortunately just amounted to a few days of stress over what thankfully turned out to be a near miss – a very near miss looking at the large burnt areas on the hillside across the street – rather than a tragedy (heartfelt thanks to our local emergency services.)

What fascinates me in the aftermath is that I’ve talked to coworkers, friends and family over the last few days and, to a person, they all ask how you pick what to take with you in such a situation. I understand why – the thought of losing everything and starting over is pretty universally frightening. We started with practical things we would need right away – clothes, medications, cell phones, laptops, chargers and such – and, of course, the cat and her supplies. When we still had time, we grabbed less practical things we hoped never to part with, but we didn’t have a lot of time even though we were chucking things into clothes baskets to carry quickly to the cars.

Interestingly enough though, that evening as I tried to fall asleep in my old room at my parents’ place and my brain spun over everything we left behind, there are only a few decisions I would have made differently, only a few extra things I would have tried to grab. As much as I would never want to start over and replace any of it, especially those much loved things that simply can’t be hauled out quickly in an emergency like all of our books, when it really comes down to it, most of it is just stuff. Useful stuff. Interesting stuff perhaps. Enjoyed stuff. But still just stuff.
bourbonneat: (Bourbon Neat)
To be California lady with a love for British television is, all too often, like being a member of secret club that absolutely baffles you with its persistence in remaining a secret. I mean, it’s not as if this club’s members are trying to keep the secret. Quite the contrary – we’re dying to find someone, preferably a great many someones, who want to chat about our favorite shows.

If I want someone to commiserate with over the latest evilly delicious Grimm cliffhanger, yes, it’s a little on the geeky side for some, but I still have plenty of takers among my circle of friends and around my office. But when I wanted to giggle over the jokes in the Top Gear Africa special? No dice. I had to go online.

Having resources like BBCA and Netflix has made things easier over the years. I mean, back when I was in college (*snerk* and we walked to class uphill…both ways…in the snow…and oh, by the way, you kids get off my lawn ;) ) we only had access to gems like Red Dwarf if friends who studied abroad had the foresight to record shows to share back home. And, for my much older cousins, finding Monty Python’s Flying Circus on TV in those dark, dark days before anyone had a means of recording television (The horror!), required staying up until the wee hours of the morning and keeping the volume on both the television and mad cackling laughter to a minimum in order to avoid waking mom and dad.

So, yes, things are better. But even airing on BBCA on a regular basis is no guarantee that you will know anyone who watches the show. Witness my Top Gear example. I am a happy little geek who moves in happy little geeky circles, so it’s pretty much a given that most people I know have at least heard of Dr. Who and many of them watch it. Sherlock has also caught on with a number of folks I know. But move much beyond that and I at least find myself back in that oddly secret club territory and finding another “member” who lives locally makes for exciting times indeed.

So, when my guy invites an old friend over, and the conversation drifts to books and television. And then that old friend hesitates a moment in a way you just know means he’s going to mention something which, in his experience, is obscure. And he then says “Well there is this show I’ve been catching on YouTube…you’ve probably never heard of it but you might really like it. It’s called Quite Interesting,” his pronunciation of the t in quite, unconsciously crisper than it would have been were he using the same word in any other context. Well, then you will understand my coming to full attention, ears perked like a cat. “You watch QI?!”

And, in the grand scheme of things, if one must be a member of an annoyingly secret club, I guess that’s as nice a password as any.
bourbonneat: (Bourbon Neat)
Finally. Writing accomplished! Well, some of it anyway.

Just when I was getting ready to send out a search party for my lost creative spark, train of thought and, indeed, most basic ability to put pen to paper and yield results, who should come trooping back out of the ether but my muse. Guess I don’t have to put those posters up now, eh? Yeah. I’ll save them for the next…er…just in case:

_________________

MISSING: One Muse

Hair: Highly dependent on point of view
Eye Color: Somewhat inspiring (Hey, I didn’t say she was a great muse.)
Height: Intriguing…ish
Last Seen: Dying of boredom while I tried to make federal copyright law comprehensible to humans. Hmmm, when put that way I suppose the whole disappearance thing is understandable after all.

If seen, please contact right away.
_________________


Although there are certain aspects where I can let my imagination out to play a bit, the writing I do for work is far more of the legal/news/technical-ish variety than creative. By necessity of being, well, work, it always comes first even when that means too much, say, policy writing temporarily dulls any lurking creative spark.

But when writing even the most simple of work projects becomes like pulling teeth, I am one miserable lady. I don’t even feel like myself. And that’s where I’ve been for the last few weeks…until, *poof* suddenly this weekend, things just started flowing again. I wrapped up my current projects, got a little blog writing done and even some scribbles that may or may not eventually turn into something more. All in all, an excellent weekend. *sigh* This feels so much better.

Now, how to entice my muse to stick around for a bit longer this time?
bourbonneat: (Bourbon Neat)
Murphy’s Law, Section 342, Paragraphs 1 through 4: The Writers’ Clauses


(1) The words will come unstuck and begin to flow easily at roughly the same moment you finally decide to give up for the evening and try for some much needed sleep.

(2) The piece you should be writing will become the only piece you need to prod your brain over – suddenly it’s virtually bombarding you with ideas for all of your other pieces.

(3) Setting aside a day to write is the surest way to guarantee a day full of fires that need putting out, unplanned emergency projects and non-stop email requests.

(4) The writing you wish to be doing is seldom the writing that will pay your bills -- unless you are very, very lucky indeed. Oh well, something to aspire to then.



Hey, you can now read it on the internet so, of course, it must be true. *nods* Lately paragraphs two and three in particular have been banes of my existence. Fortunately the happy truth of the matter is that when the words are flowing freely, Murphy and his damned law take a hike, and the reality you create on the page actually matches the ideas taking shape in your head, none of this matters and the world is a very good place indeed. Now. *rubs hands together eagerly* How to get back to that place…

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